Should there be a nonprofit and social change category on Digg? (Digg it here). That was the conversation in the nonprofit, nonprofit technology, and social change social media space. Here's a summary of the distributed conversations, some context, and some questions.
Back in the early days of Web 2.0, nonprofit technology thought leader Marnie Webb created the NpTech Tag as a way for nonprofit techies to share bookmarks on del.icio.us. Marshall Kirkpatrick, who was working with Netsquared, whipped up the NpTech Metafeed which allowed folks to aggregate items tagged by nonprofit techies from many distributed sources. As the volume of information increased, weekly summaries were added to the mix. The result of these ad hoc collaborations was a folksonomy of terms of nonprofit technology related news and a community of taggers.
And, of course, one of the community ad hoc collaborations incorporated Digg or a "Digg like" ability to crowdsource news items. Allan Benamer put together an NpTech version of Digg, using open source software called Pligg combined with a Yahoo Pipe of the Nptech feed. These early experiments were about how to crowd source, aggregate, and share nonprofit technology news using web 2.0 tools. To get a zeitgeist of nptech.
Recenty, on NTEN's WeAreMedia project, nonprofit technology folks have been exploring the another aspect of Digg - generating buzz. A number of nonprofit groups use Digg as a way to generate interest and traffic in their content - even it doesn't make to the top of the home page. That discussion generated some good tips for using Digg (as well as other tools)
- Don't just submit your own content: submit stories from all around the web
- Be a good community member and learn by watching people whose posts regularly become "popular" on the homepage
- Spend time building your reputation by digging stories and making intelligent comments
- Respond to "shouts" of stories that you like by digging them and letting the shouter know that you supported them
- Spend at least 10-15 minutes each day digging stories, making comments, and submitting new content
- Remember that you only have 24 hours to make your post "popular"; any longer than that and the post usually can't become popular anymore
- If you become friends with a powerful digger, occasionally have them post content on your site to Digg rather than doing so yourself
- Check with your IT/IS staff ahead of time to ensure that your site can handle a "Digg Effect" (also known as a "slashdotting") -- a giant waves of people all coming to your site at the same time
Others who work in the nonprofit sector, perhaps mostly gen y, turn to Digg for news. Last week, Ashley Messick brought up the question, "Should there be a nonprofit and social actions category for Digg." She notes that she often is frustrarted because she can't find nonprofit news on Digg because there isn't a specific category.
Today, the Wild Apricot blog continued the discussion about "Should Digg Have A Nonprofit Category?," making the point that nonprofit news on Digg gets lost because a) demographics and b) site structure (no specific category.) Social Butterfly, back in June, also voiced this complaint which was echoed in the comments by her readers.
The question was also discussed over at Social Actions. While there was some consensus that a nonprofit and social actions category on Digg would be a good thing, Christine Egger wondered, whether having a nonprofit and social change category would create a silo that would prevent new people discovering nonprofits and social action news. As says in the comments:
The nonprofit community hasn't been served well at all by being lumped into a single category named for their legal structure. It completely obscures the contribution each organization makes uniquely to every single Digg category . . . Action category could make sense, but if the idea is to pepper all of our daily goings-on with opportunities to seamlessly take action so whatever issue we're impacting moves in a positive direction (regardless of whether that action is nonprofit-, CSR-, or especially "none of the above"-related) it might be cooler to 1) encourage Digg to display related ways to take action on things that have been Dugg, and 2) encourage Digg functionality on all of the campaigns created on social action platforms.
As noted on Wild Apricot, last week’s announcement of a $28.7 million investment in Digg is intended to fuel Digg’s plans for customizing the Digg experience, enhancing the recommendation system across other areas of the site, creating deeper category and topic content views and more ways to discover and organize content. This might bode well for a nonprofit and social category on Digg or other ways.
What's your take on how the nonprofit sector uses Digg? What's your take on how the nonprofit sector can use Digg? Should there be a nonprofit and social change category on Digg? (Digg it here).
The NpTech Tag started as an experimental community tagging project in 2005. A loosely coupled group of nonprofit techies and social change activists decided to use the tag "NpTech" to identify web resources that would create an ongoing stream of information to promote and educate those working in nonprofit technology. Through TechSoup's Netsquared project, blogger Beth Kanter, was commissioned to write a weekly summary.
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